Summer not dry enough for these pests
By Elsa Maxey
With the intense heat and drought this summer, there has been some noticeable, decreased mosquito activity. But the presence of the pests is known big-time now with a sample of West Nile virus that was reported last week. Fort Bend County Health and Human Services said a mosquito sample from the Fresno area tested positive for the disease-causing virus. It is the first positive sample in Fort Bend County in several years, according to the agency’s spokesperson Melanie Manville in a media release.
The county’s Road and Bridge Department has intensified mosquito spraying in the area, also using a larvacide to prevent mosquitoes from hatching. It will continue preventive efforts until a negative sample is obtained. The escalated spraying is being targeted at ditches and drains, areas that hold water.
Health authorities caution residents to take personal responsibility in and around their homes. They are being told not to rely solely on mosquito spraying by the county or cities. That’s because the spray may not reach backyards due to obstructions such as fences and even other homes that may prevent the spray from reaching those area.
Adhering to the four D’s is recommended for protecting your family from mosquitoes and their breeding sites:
DRAIN standing water in old tires, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, non-aerated ponds, broken hot tubs or fountains, and puddle areas due to runoff or overwatering.
DUSK/DAWN times are to be avoided; try to stay indoors during this time when infected mosquitoes are most active.
DRESS in long sleeves and pants when outside; for extra protection, spray thin clothing with repellent.
DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) in insect repellent is optimal; follow label instructions and wear repellent when outdoors; consider sprays made for yards and other outdoor areas.
On the bright side, there’s at least one fun thing about mosquitoes out here–the Skeeters, Sugar Land’s new minor league team mascot with quite a formidable looking stinger…watch out for this one in a good way!